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Lambs like sunshine and green grass

7 October 2008

 

Lambs like sunshine and green grass

 

Kiwi kids can have a realistic look at the battles sheep farmers confront at lambing time in a new educational book ‘Cold Snap Lambs’.

“City folk are increasingly divorced from the realities of farming in New Zealand’s often boisterous spring climate. The fact is some lambs do die in cold snaps but most survive,” said Jan Quay, chairperson of Animals in Schools Educations Trust (AISET).

The book was published to give a balanced view on the demands faced by sheep farmers during spring time.

“It is important for people to realise that spring is a difficult time of year for farmers and they do everything possible to provide for the wellbeing and health of their stock,” she said.

With a strong focus on animal welfare the book highlights some serious issues in New Zealand’s sheep farming industry.

“New Zealand’s climate is actually quite mild which allows us to farm our animals naturally on grass throughout the year. Conversely in Europe most farmers hold their sheep in barns for months on end where they eat hay and processed food stuffs,” Dr Quay said.

Farmers are acutely aware of animal welfare needs. They study weather forecasts and move stock accordingly.

“This book is part of a programme to teach our young people about the importance of animal welfare and care. We believe that it will have a positive effect on their care of animals and for one another,” said Dr Quay.

A copy of the book has been distributed to all primary and intermediate schools in NZ.

AISET has published this book with help from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Meat & Wool New Zealand, The Society of Sheep and Beef Cattle Veterinarians. Copies can be purchased for $4.00 each and are available from the New Zealand Veterinary Association, nzva@vets.org.nz.   

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